What You Need to Know About Leakware

It’s no secret that cybercriminals are always upping the ante, but while ransomware is still in the spotlight, it’s even more devastating cousin, leakware, doesn’t receive as much attention. In this episode, we talk with Nir Gaist, a senior information security expert and ethical hacker to learn more about leakware – what it is, how cybercriminals are leveraging it to increase ransom payments, and what can be done to prevent it.

Nir Gaist started programming at age 6 and began his studies at the Israeli Technion University at age 10. Nir holds significant cybersecurity experience after serving as a security consultant to some of the largest Israeli organizations, such as the Israeli Police, the Israeli parliament, and Microsoft’s Israeli branch. He has vast experience in penetrating networks for risk management purposes as well as deep knowledge in security breaches and unknown threats.

Just two years ago, the average payment criminals received in a ransomware scheme was $10k. Now that they’ve wisened up and realized not only can they charge to decrypt the data, but also to not leak the data and publicize the event, this price has skyrocketed up to $111k per incident. The problem is so prevalent, one hedge fund manager laughed at his company being hit by an attack, saying the company would have paid $50 million to get that data back and made out with a steal. 

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Steven Bowcut is an award-winning journalist covering cyber and physical security. He is an editor and writer for Brilliance Security Magazine as well as other security and non-security online publications. Follow and connect with Steve on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.